We sat down with Paul, Phil and Graham at Adaptor Clothing in Hertford. Amongst their vast range of Mod, Skinhead, Rudeboy and Scooterist inspired clothing we swapped notes about who was buying what for whom, when and how.
So who is the Adaptor Clothing customer?
Predominantly male, around 30 to 55, with an interest in all things sartorial. They respect style and have good taste in music. A lot of them would have been Mods in their younger days. They’ve taken their love of that style and made it relevant to their age.
And where do Adaptor customers come from?
Literally all over the world. I’d call a lot of them Anglophiles. They love and respect the traditional British look, wanting to appear smart and sophisticated. They are equal measures cool and rebellious.
What are Adaptor customers looking for?
Most are buying for themselves. We get a lot of men coming to pick out a wedding suit, looking for inspiration, the accessories that turn their outfit into something very special. We see a steady stream of birthday present buyers and a lot of gift shoppers around Father’s Day and Christmas. You can’t go far wrong with a Tootal scarf as a gift. If the pattern doesn’t go with one of your jackets it’s bound to go with another!
Are most of your customers shopping online?
These days it’s an 80 / 20 split. Some of our customers will research online before making a visit to the shop. Others will have their instore experience first and having found a style and size that works for them their repeat shop will be via the Adaptor website.
So what came the first? The site or the shop?
The shop started as a showroom, somewhere we could set up all our ranges to take some photos for the site. When we’d done it, we thought “this looks great, why not try it as a shop?” It’s one of the best things we’ve done, the site and the store support and drive each other, and they create customer confidence.
Noticed any changes or trends recently?
There are some unusual things that we took a punt on that have surprised us. And there’s a noticeable shift to smart casual sportswear again. The classic, timeless lines will never go away – things like lightweight knitwear, crew neck t-shirts, polo shirts.
What’s the impact if this style crosses over to the High Street?
It’s actually good for us. Our existing customers will want to put their spin on it, see how they can wear it a bit differently. Plus we attract new customers who like the style but don’t want to look the same as everyone on the High Street.
You can find Tootal Scarves – and lots to wear them with – at www.adaptorclothing.com
(*Shortbread Chocolate Chip, if you were wondering)